Creative Writing Minor

The undergraduate creative writing program at UNC–Chapel Hill is — and has long been — one of the best in the country. Its first-rate faculty and students have published widely, won many prizes, and played a major role in shaping the contemporary literature of North Carolina, the South, and the nation.

Requirements 

In addition to the program requirements listed below, students must:

  • take at least nine hours of their minor "core" requirements at UNC–Chapel Hill
  • earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.000 in the minor core requirements. Some programs may require higher standards for minor or specific courses.

For more information, please consult the degree requirements section of the catalog.

The Creative Writing Program offers a minor in creative writing. The minor requires 15 hours, a total of five courses.

Enrollment in courses beyond the intermediate level is by permission only. Students may declare the minor through Academic Advising. Completion of a minor in creative writing is contingent on the student’s successful advancement through the sequence.

The Creative Writing Program also gives credit toward the minor for several courses offered in other departments, such as DRAM 231, COMM 330, COMM 433, and MEJO 356. To qualify for a degree with honors or highest honors in creative writing, students must maintain a 3.3 grade point average and meet all requirements both to enter and to complete the senior honors seminar (ENGL 693H and ENGL 694H). Students minoring in creative writing and planning to study abroad must plan carefully so that they meet all submission and deadline requirements for applying to successive courses. 

To complete the minor, students will complete five (5) courses from one of the following options:

Combination of Genres:

Select five (5) courses from any track below and/or from the following list of courses: 115
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Studies in Fiction and Poetry: Stylistics
From Manuscript to Press: Writer as Publisher
Creative Writing: Special Topics
Introduction to Writing for Film and Television
Intermediate Screenwriting
Feature Writing
Total Hours15

Fiction Track:

ENGL 130IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Fiction Writing3
or ENGL 132H IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Honors: Introduction to Fiction Writing
ENGL 307IDEAs in Action General Education logo Studies in Fiction and Poetry: Stylistics (with approval based on topic)3
or ENGL 206 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Intermediate Fiction Writing
ENGL 406IDEAs in Action General Education logo Advanced Fiction Writing3
ENGL 693H
ENGL 694H
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Creative Writing Senior Honors Thesis, Part I
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo Creative Writing Senior Honors Thesis, Part II (a yearlong, two-semester senior workshop, which counts as two courses and can lead to graduation with honors or with highest honors in creative writing)
6
Total Hours15

Poetry Track:

ENGL 131IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Poetry Writing3
or ENGL 133H IDEAs in Action General Education logo First-Year Honors: Introduction to Poetry Writing
ENGL 307IDEAs in Action General Education logo Studies in Fiction and Poetry: Stylistics (with approval based on topic)3
or ENGL 207 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Intermediate Poetry Writing
ENGL 407IDEAs in Action General Education logo Advanced Poetry Writing3
ENGL 693H
ENGL 694H
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Creative Writing Senior Honors Thesis, Part I
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo Creative Writing Senior Honors Thesis, Part II (a yearlong, two-semester senior workshop, which counts as two courses and can lead to graduation with honors or with highest honors in creative writing)
6
Total Hours15

Musical/Musical Theater Writing Track:

Select five (5) courses: 115
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Playwriting
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Gram-O-Rama: Grammar in Performance
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Theatrical Writing for the Puppet Stage
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Collaboration: Composers and Lyricists
Lyrics and Lyricists: A Collaborative Exploration of the Processes of Popular-Song Lyric Writing
Creative Writing: Special Topics (with permission based on topic)
Introduction to Composition
Inside the Song: Analysis of Songcraft
Playwriting I
IDEAs in Action General Education logo "Corner of the Sky": The American Musical
Total Hours15

Creative Nonfiction Writing Track:

ENGL 138IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Creative Nonfiction3
ENGL 208Reading and Writing Creative Nonfiction3
or ENGL 283 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Life Writing
ENGL 404IDEAs in Action General Education logo Advanced Creative Nonfiction3
ENGL 693HIDEAs in Action General Education logo Creative Writing Senior Honors Thesis, Part I3
ENGL 694HIDEAs in Action General Education logo Creative Writing Senior Honors Thesis, Part II3
Total Hours15
1

No more than two (2) courses can be taken outside the Department of English and Comparative Literature.

ENGL 130, ENGL 131, ENGL 132H, ENGL 133H, and ENGL 138, the introductory classes, are prerequisites to other Creative Writing Program classes. ENGL 130, ENGL 131, and ENGL 138 are open for registration by rising sophomores only during spring semester for the following fall and for current sophomores only during fall semester for the following spring. Rising or current sophomores may register for ENGL 130, ENGL 131, or ENGL 138, but not for more than one of these three courses. Demand by sophomores regularly exceeds the number of seats available. Enrollment of juniors and seniors is on a space-available basis by permission of the instructor, and students may inquire of the instructor during the first week of classes to see if seats are available. ENGL 130, ENGL 131, and ENGL 138 are sometimes offered during summer sessions with no registration restrictions. Please always review summer session course listings for any changes or updates.

Advancement to successive courses in either the fiction or poetry sequence is by recommendation of the student’s previous instructor(s) and by application for both the advanced workshops and senior honors seminars. If possible, the student is assigned to a different instructor for each course. Should students not advance beyond the intermediate level, they may choose to finish the minor with other classes offered in creative writing. Creative writing minors receive priority in all creative writing classes and usually fill all seats.

Students completing the five courses for the minor may take additional creative writing courses only by permission of the director, providing that all other students still completing the minor are served first.

Transfer Students: Important Information

The requirement for taking a minor in creative writing is five courses or 15 semester hours. Students are limited to one creative writing course per semester. Most junior transfer students have four semesters remaining. Junior transfer students wanting to minor in creative writing must either

  1. Have an introductory course already on their record that will transfer to Carolina as credit, e.g., an introductory course in fiction writing or poetry writing taken previously at a college or university that is transferring in as credit for ENGL 130 or ENGL 131; OR
  2. Take an introductory course via UNC–Chapel Hill Summer School prior to their first fall term at Carolina and be promoted to the next level or to another creative writing class (on a space-available basis) in the fall of their junior year.

Permission to move forward with transfer credit for an introductory course requirement (Option 1 above) will require a review by the creative writing faculty of the syllabus and work completed in the course and is dependent on space availability, which cannot be guaranteed. Students must provide hard copies of syllabi and samples of coursework as early as possible in order to ensure time for review and to schedule a meeting with the director.

Junior transfer students fulfilling one of these two options would be eligible for Advanced Fiction or Poetry (ENGL 406 or ENGL 407) and the senior honors seminars (ENGL 693H and ENGL 694H) if there is space available in Intermediate Fiction (ENGL 206) or Intermediate Poetry (ENGL 207) their first fall semester, and if — on the basis of submitted work reviewed by a committee — they are chosen for those classes. If not, they would need to complete the minor using the multigenre approach.

Note: No more than two creative writing courses from other schools may be counted for credit at UNC–Chapel Hill. At least three of the five courses taken for the minor — courses designated ENGL — must be Creative Writing Program courses taken at Carolina.

Honors in Creative Writing

To qualify for a degree with honors or highest honors in creative writing, students must maintain a 3.3 grade point average and meet all requirements both to enter and to complete the senior honors seminar (ENGL 693H and ENGL 694H).

See the program page here for additional special opportunities.

Department of English and Comparative Literature

Visit Program Website

Greenlaw Hall, CB# 3520

(919) 962-5481

Program Director

Daniel Wallace

dhwallac@email.unc.edu

Chair

Mary Floyd-Wilson

ECL Undergraduate Advisor

Hilary Lithgow

lithgow@email.unc.edu

Director of Undergraduate Studies

Martin L. Johnson

mlj@email.unc.edu